Unchecked craving strangles the careless man,
Like a creeper growing in the jungle.
He leaps form lifetime to lifetime,
Like a monkey seeking fruit.

— Dhammapada

Mindfulness and Compassionate Art Psychotherapy


This workshop combines didactics, demonstrations and experiential exercises as we look deeply at how novel activities can facilitate memory reprocessing to reduce distress and transform the client’s relationship to the original memory. 

The first part of the workshop will present a dynamic model of memory reconsolidation.  This model suggests that because some of the neurochemicals that bind memories are loosened, making the old memories unstable and pliable, memory retrieval can be an opportunity to modify traumatic reactivity.  Neuroscience research on memory reconsolidation offers clinicians new and different intervention approaches.  By pairing distressing memories with novel experiences the relationship to the original memory is updated and is likely to have a permanent reduction in distress and lasting change.  Novel art making can provide a direct avenue to unexpressed loss and to necessary meaning making.  Furthermore, as art making involves imaginative spatial functions it may mitigate any retroactive interference.

In the second part of the workshop participants will be invited to experience at least one memory reconsolidation-based protocols.

In the third part of the day we will explore additional protocols characterized by a specific sequencing of interventions that promote:

  1. safety, comfort and pleasure
  2. positive emotions and cognitions
  3. repetitive opportunities for mastery
  4. relational security and communication
  5. self-acceptance and self-compassion.

At the end of the workshop, participants will be able to:

  1. Explain “memory reconsolidation”
  2. Define the three functions of autobiographical memory
  3. Identify cognitive conditions for positive memory reconsolidation
  4. Explain the relevance of at least one art-based experiential activity
  5. Describe at least two memory reconsolidation principles relevant their practice
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Mindfulness and Compassionate Art Psychotherapy:
Working with Trauma, Grief and Loss

Noah Hass-Cohen, PsyD, ATR-BC, LMFT

April 18, 2020
10:00 am – 5:00 pm